A New Era of ESG: Corporate Rhetorics of Energy Transparency

Department or Program

Environmental Studies


In this report, I tease out the current discrepancies in renewable energy tracking programs, how these could be addressed by the SEC’s new ruling, entitled, 'Climate Related Financial Disclosures' and what work still needs to be done on a state level to forward ESG disclosures in the context of the political backlash against ESG language from more conservative parties. It argues that ESG mandates are integral to bridging gaps between the current United States’ stated clean energy goals and the clean energy net zero ideations of the Biden administration. To do so, I analyze shareholder comments on the SEC’s proposed decision, the Climate-Related Financial Disclosure Regulations bill, and secondary sources such as stated statewide oppositional and supporting texts, and academic journal articles that contextualize the ruling within the history of SEC rule making, renewable legislation, and the increased politicalization of ESG reporting frameworks.

Level of Access

Restricted: Campus/Bates Community Only Access

First Advisor

Tyler Harper

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Components of Thesis

Story Map with linked Annotations and Text.


Available to Bates community via local IP address or Bates login.